Google’s lofty position as the leading Internet marketer might soon be under threat. This spells bad news for a company that is already facing criticism from human rights and privacy advocates. Google is trying to ward off competition from MSN, who are launching their new adCenter in May (UK Launch).
Tough Times For Google
Google’s acquiescence to the Chinese government’s demand to censor what her population might search for came as a surprise to many. More recently, Google was pressurised to submit to the US government data on searchers who were searching for what might be deemed harmful to the state (terrorist activities). Finally, last week’s findings that Google’s conversion rates were lower than AOL, MSN and Yahoo! opened our eyes to the fact that Google is not having things entirely their way.
The Case For MSN Search
Even though last week’s article puts MSN Search in much better light than Google, one must not forget the absolute number of searches carried out on Google far outnumbers that on all other search engines.
MSN’s adCenter platform has received lukewarm reviews since it was rolled out in Hong Kong late last year. However, it has a distinctive feature that allows MSN to target demographics more effectively. This might appeal to Ad and Media agencies, but not necessarily with small and medium businesses. Remember Apple Mac computers were of superior quality to Microsoft PCs, but were squeezed into the position of appealing to those who worked in design. On the other hand Microsoft PCs were less complicated, and therefore, appealed to mass markets.
Critics have praised the result provided by MSN Search, and many search industry experts sing praises about its functionality, additional features, the quality of the results and the relative lack of spam. However, the real judgment will be made by end users, who currently continue using Google as their primary search destination.
Can MSN Search Kill Google?
All is not really lost for Google. It is more than likely that they will remain the winners. Since MSN Search is burdened by the consequence of monopoly, it might find it very difficult penetrate new markets, As a result, Google’s lofty position might remain theirs for some time to come.